Today’s luxury consumer has more power than ever before.
Did you know that today’s luxury buyer isn’t as concerned with what they buy, as much as they are concerned with how it’s made?
This distinction is a shocker for many who are following the trends in online business.
With the internet accounting for more global transactions each day, it’s important that luxury brands also stay up-to-speed on consumers who are educating themselves on best practices in business and manufacturing.
So before we dive in on what luxury brands must focus on, let’s take a step back and examine the identity of the conscious consumer.
Conscious Consumers are Aware
For decades, customers bought whatever lined the shelves of their local malls and department stores. Or, they knew of a store overseas that they would mail orders to. Either way, their selections were very limited.
Today, however, that isn’t the case at all. Nearly every store in the world has a major online presence and this is reflected in the way that top brands market to their consumers.
Instead of reading a newspaper ad or seeing a new handbag in a magazine ad, consumers today will likely see something that is clickable, meaning that they can instantly size up the quality and the price.
This complicates things for brands, because instead of being isolated, they are connected to review sites, comments, and social media pages.
In other words, consumers are more aware than ever.
Today’s Luxury Customer Knows More
Because of this ability to learn more about the companies behind the products they buy, consumers now make decisions that aren’t about who has the cheapest product, but who is the best company.
This is why companies who support ingredients from Fair Trade countries will do better than companies who don’t.
Similarly, companies who take care of their customers make it easier to promote brand loyalty and to keep happy clients around for years to come.
Instead of just buying from a brand because it seems reputable, luxury clients want to know that the brand has staying power, and will take care of them long after they’ve made their purchases.
Brands Shouldn’t Alienate Customers
Luxury brands should aim to steer clear of politics, and major polarizing issues. Brands who can’t stay silent, typically will lose customers.
However, on the other hand, brands need to develop better relationships with their customers, in order to make them feel more strongly aligned with the ideas surrounding the brand. Since a lot of this is conceptual in nature, brands need to do more market research in order to understand exactly how their customers want to be related to.
Brands Need to Reward Customers
White glove service and complimentary services aside, the focus on brands in the age of conscious consumers is standing out for the right reasons, not just standing out.
Consumer rewards, such as Hermes’ Birkin bag is a great example of a luxury brand incentivizing brand loyalty. Customers must have made several thousand dollars worth of purchases over a specific period of time in order to even be eligible to purchase one.
Brands Need to Get More Creative
In an age where thousands of companies are just a few clicks away, the landscape is changing. Brands need to focus on how they can better create a dialogue with their customers, in order to help them feel like their needs are being met.
One way that brands do this is by having a live-chat feature on their site, this increases engagement.
However, for brands looking to take over the market–they need to create a better brand story.
What’s In A Name? Hopefully a Story
A brand story is the one of the most important ways of reaching an audience in 2018. Many people mistakenly believe that a brand is just a few website pages and a cool logo, but for luxury brands hoping to compete it has to be much more.
The story behind a luxury brand is always significant. If you want to know that a brand is quality you need to look at the foundation from why it was started. For example, Rolex does this beautifully on their homepage.
Their story began in 1905 when their founder saw the opportunity to shift from carried timepieces to wristwatches in a way that was luxurious.
See, the story sells you on why the brand has flagship stores all over the world and is quintessentially luxurious–good stories can do that.
Additionally, story helps to connect to the human elements of your brand, which make your customers better able to understand the brand and process the brand’s connection to their lives.
What Do Conscious Consumers Want Out of Luxury Brands?
In actuality luxury clients just want a better relationship with the brands that they purchase from. They aren’t looking to have their minds read, or have brands cater to their every need–but they do need to feel like the brand gets them.
Especially with the plethora of brands out there available on the internet, if a brand doesn’t have a strong sense of identity through the story that it tells, clients will go elsewhere.
Keep in mind that every time you make a decision to buy something it isn’t strictly logical. We don’t applaud movies because we get the probability of the ending working out for the main characters. We love good stories because they help us respond emotionally in a way that feels good. And these good feelings about a brand’s identity, is exactly what drives luxury customers to keep coming back several times.
The deciding factor in luxury is often the quality and craftsmanship of the products, themselves. So this is an important part to play up in whatever story that you create to support your brand.
Conscious consumers will want to make sure that the story your brand tells, matches the story they tell about themselves. Which makes sense because high-achieving, successful people, want to buy products that help them communicate that to others through the brands they support.